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Canada commits $40 million to provide Ukraine with artillery ammunition at the 20th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group

The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, participated via videoconference in the 20th Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) meeting, hosted by United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III. The meeting brought together representatives from approximately 50 countries, who reaffirmed their commitment to providing Ukraine with the critical military aid that it needs. 

At the meeting, Minister Blair announced that Canada is committing over $40 million to Czechia’s initiative to purchase large-calibre ammunition rounds for Ukraine. This will enable the delivery of several thousand rounds of artillery ammunition to Ukraine. This commitment follows last month’s signing of the Canada-Czechia Defence Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding, which establishes a framework for defence cooperation between Canada and Czechia, including in the area of support for Ukraine. 

In addition, Minister Blair announced that Canada will be donating a package of night vision devices to assist Ukrainian Armed Forces with nighttime operations. This donation, worth approximately $7.5 million, will be sourced from Canadian company Twenty20 Insight Inc

Minister Blair also confirmed that Canada has officially joined the UDCG’s Drone Capability Coalition co-led by Latvia and the United Kingdom, as Canada committed earlier this month. Among other things, this Coalition brings together UDCG members working to find ways to scale up drone production with the collective goal of delivering one million drones to Ukraine. Canada’s initial contribution includes more than 800 drones from Teledyne, as announced recently by Minister Blair. The first delivery is expected to arrive in Ukraine this spring. 

The donations announced demonstrate Canada’s ongoing commitment to providing Ukrainians with the critical and longer-term military aid that they need to defend their country. Canada’s steadfast support for Ukraine includes commitments made in the historic Agreement on Security Cooperation between Canada and Ukraine, signed last month by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv.

“During our discussions, Ukrainian officials have been clear that they need more artillery ammunition, rapidly. As we advance work to increase the domestic production of 155 mm with our Canadian industry partners, we are also committed to meeting Ukraine’s urgent needs as quickly as possible. By supporting Czechia’s initiative to donate large volumes of artillery munitions to Ukraine, Canada is stepping up to meet one of Ukraine’s most pressing defensive requirements. Now and for the long term, Canada stands with Ukraine.”

The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence

ADDITIONAL INFO

  • The UDCG was created by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III in April 2022 for allies and partners to synchronize donations, consult, and coordinate military assistance to Ukraine, and build the capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU). Regularly convening at the ministerial level, the UDCG now brings together more than 50 countries.

  • Since February 2022, Canada has committed over $13.3 billion in funding to support Ukraine. This includes $4 billion in military assistance, such as M777 howitzers, Leopard 2 main battle tanks, armoured combat support vehicles, hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition, hundreds of drones, and more.

  • Canada has already donated approximately 40,000 rounds of 155 mm artillery ammunition to Ukraine, sourced from both the Canadian Armed Forces’ stocks and from purchases through the United States government.

  • Since the launch of Operation UNIFIER, the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) mission for military training and capacity building in support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Canada has trained approximately 40,000 members of the AFU. Canada has extended this mission until March 2026, providing significant capacity for the CAF to respond to Ukraine’s urgent training needs.

  • More than 300 CAF members are deployed on Operation UNIFIER in various roles, such as the provision and coordination of training, national command support, and the facilitation and delivery of military donations in coordination with Allies and partners.

  • Since 2022, Canada has three CC-130J Hercules tactical airlift aircraft, alongside a detachment of approximately 60 CAF personnel, conducting operations from a hub based out of Prestwick, Scotland. The detachment has delivered over fifteen million pounds of aid to Ukraine, from Canada and from our Allies and partners.

  • In recent months, the UDCG has launched various Capability Coalitions which involve various nations working together to reinforce Ukraine’s capabilities in particular areas. Canada is part of the Air Force Capability Coalition, the Armour Capability Coalition, and now, the Drone Capability Coalition.

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